The State Liberals are calling on the Health Minister Jack Snelling to guarantee that all beds in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will be available for patient care from the first day that the new facility opens.
The Advertiser report based on a Medical Staff Society document raises further very serious questions regarding the operation of the NRAH.
“There has already been a $600 million blowout in the cost of the NRAH, it’s most unlikely to be open on time and now all its beds won’t be available when it does eventually open,” said Liberal spokesperson Rob Lucas.
“Surely we haven’t spent $2.3 billion on the NRAH only to mothball sections of the new hospital on day one of its operation for an indeterminate period.
“South Australia’s hospital system is beset by deep seated problems with Emergency Departments overflowing with patients, ambulance ramping and Intensive Care Units over capacity a regular occurrence.
“It makes absolutely no sense for the Weatherill Government to be planning on closing beds in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital when the current hospital system is unable to cope with the level of demand.
“Evidence provided to the Budget and Finance Committee strongly disputes Mr Snelling’s claim that the NRAH will have 120 more beds than the existing RAH ie 800 to 680.
“SA Health evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee indicates the NRAH will have 700 ‘overnight’ beds whilst the AMA claimed that in 2011 there were 720 ‘overnight’ beds at the existing RAH.
“Minister Snelling needs to release the Medical Staff Society document and any briefing notes the document was based on,” said Mr Lucas.